National North Dakota Day

Author’s Note: Research is credited to National Day Calendar, World Population Review, American Towns Media, University of Houston, and Only in Your State

Despite the date of statehood for North Dakota being November 2, our great state also has a national holiday. National North Dakota Day is a relatively new holiday, started only within the past few years, but is now every year on April 19.

To outsiders, North Dakota is known for “ope,” agriculture, the Badlands, the Peace Gardens and being the set for the movie “Fargo.” For those of us on the inside, we know this state has a lot more to offer.

Here are a few interesting, little-known facts about North Dakota and the people who call this state home.

North Dakota has a pyramid.

Located in the town of Nekoma, the pyramid is a part of a missile silo complex. This pyramid was part of a radar system. However, because of its close proximity to the Canadian border, the site was closed almost as soon as construction was finished. You can still see the site, however, and take a tour to see the inside of the pyramid.

A North Dakota man invented the clothes dryer.

I don’t know about you, but I applaud this man. Somehow J. Ross Moore knew that we would need this amazing invention long after he no longer required it.

Moore was born in Canada but lived most of his life in Devil’s Lake. At the start of the 1900s, he got fed up with hanging his clothes out to dry and decided to do something about it. It took over thirty years, but his persistence paid off and the first electric clothes dryers went on the market in 1938.

Kodak camera was invented in North Dakota.

David Henderson Houston was born in Scotland in 1841, and his family moved to Wisconsin that same year. At the age of thirty-nine, Houston moved to what is now the state of North Dakota. 

Houston had filed many other patents, but his work on the film camera was the first. He filed his new invention for a patent in 1881. The real novelty of this invention was that his film camera was invented before film. Film wouldn’t be available for another decade, but Houston had the foresight of the possibilities of the camera.

North Dakota ranks fourth lowest in population.

This state can’t even boast a million people—we’re reaching just over 788,000. Below us are Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming. By comparison, Rhode Island could fit inside North Dakota approximately 46 times but still is home to over a million residents.

Our population is growing, but most North Dakotans I know would rather keep our numbers small and mighty.


We all know farming and ranching are key components in the Midwest, but did you know that North Dakota alone is the country’s leader in the production of sunflowers and honey? We also produce enough wheat to make 12.6 billion loaves of bread every year.

Strange Laws

Last but not least, there are a few strange laws that made it into North Dakota’s law books. Some have been removed, but they include the illegal act of dancing with a hat on(or even wearing a hat to an event where others are dancing), charities are only allowed to hold poker games to raise money twice a year, serving pretzels with beer is illegal and you cannot allow a horse to sleep in your bathtub. Also, find a new home for your pet elk—they are not permitted to reside in a sandbox.

North Dakota can seem like we have our brand of crazy just like every other place on earth, but it is also essential, no matter how small we may seem. You can’t order a soda—it’s pop; the two-fingered wave during a drive is non-negotiable; and winter never seems to end. In spite of it all, our rich history and contribution to the agriculture industry keep the country going. 

April 19 is now National North Dakota Day, so celebrate this great state!

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